The "Where'd It Go?" Dictionary (Windows Version)

Note: this article is taken from MAC OS X Tiger: The Missing Manual Copyright © 2005 Pogue Press, LLC. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the publisher. Available from booksellers or direct from O'Reilly Media, www.oreilly.com.
Author: David Pogue / ISBN: 0-596-00941-0

Maybe you were persuaded by the Apple "Switch" ad campaign. Maybe you just like the looks of today's Macs. Or may be you've just had one virus, spyware download, or service pack too many. In any case, if you're switching to Mac OS X from Windows, this appendix is for you. It's an alphabetical listing of every common Windows function and where to find it in Mac OS X. After all, an operating system is an operating system. The actual functions are pretty much the same—they're just in different places.

TIP: If this listing only whets your appetite for in formation about making the switch, read Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual. In addition to an expanded version of this appendix, it also contains useful information on moving your files from the PC to the Mac, copying over your email, transferring your address book, and so on.

About {This Program}
To find out the version number of the program you're using, don't look in the Help menu. Instead, look in the application menu next to the Apple menu—the one that bears the name of the program you're in. That's where you find the About command for Macintosh programs.

Accessibility Options control panel
The special features that let you operate the computer even with impaired vision, hearing, or motor control are called Universal Access in Mac OS X. They're in System Preferences (see Chapter 9).

Active Desktop
The Mac never displays Web pages directly on the desktop—and knowing Apple, that's probably a point of pride. But Dashboard (Chapter 5) keeps Internet data only a keystroke away.

Add Hardware control panel
The Mac requires no program for installing the driver for a new external gadget. The drivers for most printers, mice, keyboards, cameras, camcorders, and other accessories are preinstalled. If you plug something into the Mac and find that it doesn't work immediately, just install the driver from the included CD (or the manufacturer's Web site).

Add or Remove Programs control panel
Here's another one you just don't need on the Macintosh. Installing a program onto the Mac is described on Section 5.9.7. Removing a program simply involves dragging its icon to the Trash. (For a clean sweep, inspect your Home→Library→Preferences and Library→Application Support folders to see if any preference files got left behind.)

All Programs
There's no Programs menu built into Mac OS X, like the one on the Windows Start menu. If you'd like one, drag your Applications folder into the end of the Dock. Now its icon is a tidy pop-up menu of every program on your machine.

Alt key
On the Mac, it's the Option key. You can substitute Option for Alt in any keystroke in most popular programs. The Option key has a number of secondary features on the Mac, too: It hides the windows of one program when you click into another, and so on.

Automatic Update
The System Preferences→Software Update panel does exactly the same thing.

Backspace key
It's in the same place on the Macintosh keyboard, but it's called the Delete key.

Battery Level
The status of the battery in your PowerBook or iBook laptop now appears in the menu bar, rather than in the system tray. (If you don't see it, open System Preferences→Energy Saver and turn it on.)

You'll never have to update or even think about the ROM of your Macintosh (the approximate equivalent of the BIOS on the PC). It's permanent and unchanging. The very similar firmware of your Macintosh does occasionally have to be updated in order to work with a new version of the Mac operating system or some dramatic new feature—once every four years, perhaps. You'll be notified on the screen when the time comes.

Mac OS X doesn't have anything like the Briefcase, a Windows invention designed to help you keep your files in sync between a laptop and a desktop computer. On the other hand, if you sign up for a .Mac account (Chapter 19), you get a program called Backup that is similarly designed to keep folders synchronized between two machines. And you can use iSync (Chapter 19 also) to keep your calendar, addresses, and other items synched between multiple computers.

The calculator program in Mac OS X is almost identical to the one in Windows XP, except that it can also perform conversions (temperature, distance, currency, and so on) and features an editable "paper tape." It sits in your Applications folder and is described in Chapter 10. (There's a simpler Calculator in Dashboard, too; see the end of Chapter 5.)

Camera and Scanner Wizard
When you connect a digital camera or scanner to your Mac, either iPhoto or Image Capture opens automatically and prepares to download the pictures automatically. Details on Image Capture and iPhoto in Chapter 10.

If your Mac keyboard has an Eject or F12 key in the upper-right corner, hold it down for a moment to open the CD/DVD drawer, or, if you have a slot-loading drive, to spit out the disc that's in it. If it's an older Mac keyboard without an Eject key, you can eject a CD (or any other disk) by Control-clicking its desktop icon and choosing Eject from the contextual menu. There are various other ways to eject a disk, but the point is that you never do so by pushing the Eject button on the disk drive itself.

Character Map
This Windows program helps you find out what keys you need to press to trigger trademark symbols, copyright symbols, and other special characters. The equivalent on the Mac is called the Keyboard Viewer (Section 9.14.2)—but the new Character Palette (Section 9.14.1) is even easier to use.

Clean Install
The Mac OS X 10.4 installer can give you a fresh, virginal copy of the operating system, just as the Windows installer can. Instructions are in Appendix A.

The Mac's clipboard works much like the one in Windows. In the Finder, you can choose Edit→Show Clipboard to see whatever you most recently copied or cut.

Command line
In Mac OS X, the command line is alive and well—but it speaks Unix, not DOS. You get to it by opening Terminal, which is described in Chapters 16 and 17.

Control Panel
The Control Panel in Mac OS X is called System Preferences, and it's represented on the Dock by a little light-switch icon. As in Windows XP, you can view these icons either by category or in a simple alphabetical list: Just choose either Organize by Categories or Organize Alphabetically from the View menu.

Copy, Cut, Paste
When you're editing in a word processor or graphics program, the Mac OS X Cut, Copy, and Paste commands work exactly as they do in Windows.

At the desktop, however, there are a few differences. You can indeed copy icons and paste them into a new window using the Copy and Paste commands—you just can't cut them out of a window, as you can in Windows. On the other hand, Mac OS X offers a handy secondary feature: If you paste into a word or text processor instead of into another desktop window, you get a tidy list of the names of the icons you copied.

Ctrl key
On the Macintosh, you generally substitute the (⌘) Command key in keystrokes that would normally involve the Control key. In other words, the Save command is now ⌘-S instead of Ctrl-S, Open is ⌘-O instead of Ctrl-O, and so on.

Date and Time
You set your Mac's calendar and clock in the Date & Time panel of System Preferences.

Delete Key (Forward Delete)
Desktop Mac keyboards have a forward-delete key (labeled Del) exactly like the ones on PCs. On Mac laptops, you trigger the forward-delete function by pressing the Delete key while pressing the Fn key in the lower-left corner of the keyboard.

The Macintosh desktop is pretty much the same idea as the Windows desktop, with a few key differences:

  • Disk icons show up on the Mac desktop as soon as they are inserted or connected. You don't have to open a window to see their icons.

  • You change the desktop picture using the Desktop & Screen Saver panel of System Preferences.

  • The Trash is an icon in the Dock, not loose on the desktop.

Most people call them folders on the Mac.

Disk Defragmenter
There's no such utility included with Mac OS X, although Norton Utilities for the Mac will do the job if you feel that it's essential to have your hard drive neatly defragmented. (A defragmenting program moves around the pieces of files on your hard drive in an effort to optimize their placement and speed of opening.)

Working with disks is very different on the Mac. Every disk inside, or attached to, a Macintosh is represented on the screen by an icon. Mac OS X does have something like the My Computer window (choose Go→Computer), but both the icons on the desktop and the icons in the Computer window reflect only the disks currently inserted in your Mac. You'll never see an icon for an empty drive, as you do on Windows, and there's no such thing as drive letters (because the Mac refers to disks, not to drives—and refers to them by name).

Display control panel
The functions of the Windows Display Control Panel lurk in the Mac OS X System Preferences program—just not all in one place. You set up your desktop picture and screen saver using the Desktop & Screen Saver pane, and adjust your monitor settings using the Displays pane. (Mac OS X offers no equivalent to the Appearance tab in Windows, for changing the system-wide look of your computer.)

DLL files
The Macintosh equivalent of DLLfiles—shared libraries of programming code—are invisible and off-limits. As a result, no Macintosh user ever experiences DLL conflicts or out-of-date DLL files.

DOS prompt
There's a command line in Mac OS X, but it's Unix, not DOS. For details, see Chapters 16 and 17.

See "Add or Remove Programs."

End Task dialog box
If some Macintosh program is hung or frozen, you escape it pretty much the same way you would in Windows: by forcing it to quit. To bring up the Force Quit dialog box, you press Option-⌘-Esc.

Exiting programs
You can quit a program either by choosing Quit from the menu bearing its name (next to the Apple menu), or by right-clicking its Dock icon (or Control-clicking) and then choosing Quit from the pop-up menu.

The Mac has its own "tree" view of the files and folders on your hard drive: list view. By expanding the “flippy triangles” of your folders, you build a hierarchy that shows you as much or as little detail as you like.

If you prefer the Explorer effect of clicking a folder in one pane to see its contents in the next, try Column view instead. Both views are described in Chapter 1.

In Mac OS X, there isn't one single Favorites menu that lists both favorite Web sites and favorite icons. The Favorites menu of Internet Explorer, the Web browser, lists only Web sites, and the Favorites folder at the desktop (Section 2.5.1) lists only favorite files, folders, disks, and other icons.

Faxing is built into Tiger; it's described in Chapter 14. (Hint: Choose File→Print; from the PDF button at the bottom of the Print dialog box, choose Fax PDF.)

File Sharing
See Chapter 13 for an in-depth look at the Macintosh networking and file-sharing system.

Floppy Disks
Floppy drives on Macs disappeared in about 1998. According to Apple, it's much more efficient to transfer files between machines using an Ethernet cable (Chapter 13), a CD that you burned (Chapter 11), or email (Chapter 20).

Of course, you can buy an external USB floppy drive for any Mac for about $45.

Folder Options
The Folder Options control panel in Windows is a collection of unrelated settings that boil down to this:

  • General tab. Exactly as in Windows, it's up to you whether or not double-clicking a folder opens up a second window—or just changes what's in the first one. On the Mac, you make these changes using the Finder→Preferences command. There you'll find the option called "Always open folders in a new window."

  • View tab. Most of the options here don't exist on the Mac. For example, system files are always hidden on the Mac; you can't opt to make them visible (at least not without add-on shareware). You can, however, choose whether you want to see the file name extensions in your desktop windows (like .doc and .html). Choose Finder→Preferences→Advanced, and turn "Show all file extensions" on or off.

  • Offline Files. There's no equivalent feature on the Mac.

The Mac and Windows both use TrueType, PostScript, and Open Type fonts. (In fact, your Mac can even use the exact font files you had in Windows.) On the Mac, however, there are actually five different folders that can contain them. A complete discussion is in Chapter 14.

Help and Support
At the desktop, choose Help→Mac Help. In other programs, the Help command is generally at the right end of your menus, exactly as on Windows.

The Mac can't hibernate at all, as modern PCs do, cutting all power but remembering what programs and documents you had open for a faster restart later. Sleep mode is the closest it gets (see "Standby Mode").

Internet Explorer
Microsoft's Web browser is in your Applications folder. (Apple would prefer, of course, that you try Safari, its own Web browser.)

Internet Options
On the Mac, you find the options for your Web browser by choosing Internet Explorer→Preferences or Safari→Preferences.

They don't exist on the Mac.

This interpreter of tiny Web-page programs is alive and well in Mac OS X. Java programs run fine in all Mac Web browsers.

Keyboard control panel
You can make exactly the same kinds of settings—and more—on the Keyboard panel of System preferences.

Logging in
The multiple-accounts feature of Mac OS X is extremely similar to that of Windows 2000 and Windows XP. In either case, you can, if you wish, create a requirement to log in with a name and password before using the computer. This arrangement keeps separate the documents, email, and settings of each person who uses the computer. (Chapter 12 tells all.)

Mail control panel
Mac OS X comes with its own email program (see Chapter 20); all of its settings are contained within the program.

Maximize button
On the Mac, clicking the zoom button (the green button at the upper-left corner of a window) does something like the maximize button in Windows: it makes your window larger. On the Mac, however, clicking the zoom button never makes the window expand to fill the entire screen. Instead, the window grows—or shrinks—precisely enough to enclose its contents.

On the Macintosh, there's only one menu bar, always at the very top of the screen. The menus change depending on the program and the window you're using, but the point is that the menu bar is no longer inside each window you open.

TIP: Just because you don't see the little underlines in the menus doesn't mean you can't operate all of the menus from the keyboard, as in Windows. See Section 5.6 for details.

Minimize button
You can minimize a Mac OS X window to the Dock, just the way you would minimize a Windows window to the taskbar. You do so by double-clicking its title bar, pressing ⌘-M, choosing Window→Minimize Window, or clicking the yellow Minimize button at the top left of a window. (Restore the window by clicking its icon in the Dock.)

Mouse control panel
The equivalent settings await you in the Keyboard & Mouse panel of System Preferences.

My Computer
The Mac's Computer window is very similar (choose Go→Computer), in that it shows the icons of all disks (hard drive, CD, and so on). On the other hand, it shows only the disks that are actually inserted or connected (see "Disks").

My Documents, My Pictures, My Music
The equivalent buckets for your everyday documents, music files, and pictures are the Documents, Pictures, and Music folders in your Home folder.

My Network Places
To see your "network neighborhood," click the Network icon in the Sidebar (the panel at the left side of every Finder window). Click My Network. All of the Macs and PCs on your network show up in the resulting list (see Chapter 13).

Network Neighborhood
See the previous entry.

There's no Mac OS X Notepad program. But give Stickies a try (Section 10.23.1).

Personal Web Server
To find out how to turn your Mac into a state-of-the-art Web site, see Chapter 22.

Phone and Modem Options control panel
To find the modem settings for your Mac, open System Preferences. Click Network, choose Internal Modem from the Show pop-up menu, and click the Modem tab.

Power Options
To control when your Mac goes to sleep and (if it's a laptop) how much power it uses, use the Energy Saver pane of System Preferences (Chapter 9).

Printer Sharing
To share a USB inkjet printer with other Macs on the network, open the Sharing pane of System Preferences on the Mac with the printer. Turn on Printer Sharing.

To use the shared printer from across the network, open the document you want to print, choose File→Print, and choose the name of the shared printer from the first pop-up menu.

Printers and Faxes
For a list of your printers, open the Printer Setup Utility program in your Applications→Utilities folder. For details on faxing, see "Faxing."

PrntScrn key
You capture pictures of your Mac screen by pressing Shift-⌘-3 (for a full-screen grab) or Shift-⌘-4 (to grab a selected portion of the screen). Details on Section 14.9.

Program Files folder
The Applications folder (Go→Applications) is like the Program Files folder in Windows—except that you're not discouraged from opening it and double-clicking things. On the Macintosh, every program bears its true name. Microsoft Word is called Microsoft Word, not WINWORD.EXE.

Properties dialog box
You can call up something very similar for any icon (file, folder, program, disk, printer) by highlighting its icon and then choosing File→Get Info. But objects in Macintosh programs generally don't contain Properties dialog boxes.

Recycle Bin
Mac OS X has a Trash icon at the end of the Dock. In general, it works exactly like the Windows Recycle Bin—and why not, since the Macintosh Trash was Microsoft's inspiration?—but there are a couple of differences. The Macintosh never auto empties it, for example. That job is up to you (the simplest way is to Control-click it, or right-click it, and choose Empty Trash from the shortcut menu).

The Mac never bothers you with an "Are you sure?" message when you throw something into the Trash, either. The Mac interrupts you for permission only when you choose File→Empty Trash—and you can even turn that confirmation off, if you like (in Finder→Preferences).

To put icons into the Trash, drag them there, or highlight them and then press ⌘-Delete.

Regional and Language Options control panel
The close equivalent is the International panel of System Preferences.

There is no registry. Let the celebration begin!

Run command
The Mac's command line is Terminal (Chapter 16).

Safe Mode
You can press the Shift key during startup to suppress the loading of certain software libraries, but Mac OS X's "safe mode" isn't quite as massively stripped-down as Windows's Safe Mode.

Just like Windows, the Mac automatically scans and, if necessary, repairs its hard drive every time your machine starts up. To run such a check on command, open Disk Utility (located in the Applications→Utilities folder), click the name of your hard drive, and then click the First Aid tab.

Scheduled Tasks
To schedule a task to take place unattended, use the launchd Unix command in Terminal (Section, or one of the scheduling programs listed at www.versiontracker.com.

Scrap files
On the Mac, they're called clipping files, and they're even more widely compatible. You create them the same way: Drag some highlighted text, or a graphic, out of a program's window and onto the desktop. There it becomes an independent clipping file that you can drag back in—to the same window, or a different one.

Screen saver
The Mac's screen savers are impressive. Open System Preferences and click the Desktop & Screen Saver icon.

In Mac OS X Tiger, you have the ultimate file-searching tool: Spotlight (Chapter 3). Get psyched!

To find Web sites, use the Google Search box at the top of the Safari browser.

Shortcut menus
They work exactly the same as they do in Windows. You produce a shortcut menu by Control-clicking things like icons, list items, and so on. (If you have a two-button mouse, feel free to right-click instead of using the Control key.)

On the Mac, they're known as aliases. See Section 2.5.1.

Sounds and Audio Devices
Open System Preferences; click the Sound icon. You may also want to explore the Audio MIDI Setup program in Applications→Utilities.

Speech control panel
The Mac's center for speech recognition and text-to-speech is the Speech panel of System Preferences. As Chapter 15 makes clear, the Mac can read aloud any text in any program, and it lets you operate all menus, buttons, and dialog boxes by voice alone.

Standby mode
On the Mac, it's called Sleep, but it's the same idea. You make a Mac laptop sleep by closing the lid. You make a Mac desktop sleep by choosing →Sleep, or just walking away; the Mac goes to sleep on its own, according to the settings in the Energy Saver pane of System Preferences.

Start menu
There's no Start menu in Mac OS X. Instead, you stash the icons of the programs, documents, and folders you use frequently onto the Dock at the edge of the screen, or into the Sidebar at the left edge of every Finder window.

Exactly as with the Start menu, you can rearrange these icons (drag them horizontally) or remove the ones you don't use often (drag them away from the Dock and then release). To add new icons of your own, just drag them into place (applications go to the left of the Dock's divider line, documents and folders to the right).

StartUp folder
To make programs launch automatically at startup, include them in the list of Login Items in the System Preferences→Accounts pane.

System control panel
The Mac has no central equivalent of the System window on a Windows PC. But its functions have analogs here:

  • General tab. To find out your Mac OS X version number and the amount of memory on your Mac, choose →About This Mac.

  • Computer Name tab. Open System Preferences, click Sharing, and edit your computer's network names here.

  • Hardware tab. The closest thing the Mac has to the Device Manager is System Profiler (in your Applications→Utilities folder).

  • Advanced tab. In Mac OS X, you can't easily adjust your virtual memory, processor scheduling, or user profile information.

  • System Restore tab. This feature isn't available in Mac OS X.

  • Automatic Updates tab. Open System Preferences and click Software Updates.

  • Remote tab. These features are unavailable in Mac OS X.

System Tray
The Mac OS X equivalent of the system tray (also called the notification area) is the row of menulets at the upper-right corner of your screen; see Section 4.5.2.

Mac OS X doesn't have a taskbar, but it does have something very close: the Dock (Chapter 4). Open programs are indicated by a small black triangle beneath their icons in the Dock. If you hold down your cursor on one of these icons (or Control-click it, or right-click it), you'll get a pop-up list of the open windows in that program, exactly as in Windows XP.

Control-clicking a folder or disk icon in the Dock is even more useful. It produces a pop-up menu of everything inside that disk or folder—a terrific form of X-ray vision that has no equivalent in Windows.

On the other hand, some conventions never die. Much as in Windows, you cycle through the various open programs by holding down the ⌘ key and pressing Tab repeatedly.

Taskbar and Start Menu control panel
To configure your Dock (the equivalent of the Taskbar and Start menu), choose →-Dock→Dock Preferences, or click the Dock icon in System Preferences.

"Three-fingered salute"
Instead of pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete to jettison a stuck program on the Mac, you press Option-⌘-Esc. A Force Quit dialog box appears. Click the program you want to toss, click Force Quit, confirm your choice, and then relaunch the program to get on with your day.

Small, yellow identifying balloons pop up on the Mac almost as often as they do in Windows. Just point to a toolbar icon or truncated file name without clicking. (There's no way to turn these labels off.)

The closest equivalent for this free, downloadable, but unsupported Microsoft utility for tweaking the look of your PC is TinkerTool for Mac OS X. It's described in Chapter 18.

User Accounts control panel
Like Windows 2000 and Windows XP, Mac OS X was designed from Square One to be a multiuser operating system, keeping the files, mail, and settings of each person separate. You set up and manage these accounts in System Preferences→Accounts (Chapter 12).

Window edges
You can enlarge or shrink a Mac OS X window only by dragging its lower-right corner—not its edges.

Windows (or WINNT) folder
Mac OS X's operating system resides in a folder simply called System, which sits in your main hard drive window. Exactly as in recent Windows versions, you're forbidden to add, remove, or change anything inside. Also as in Windows, most of it is invisible anyway.

Windows logo key
The Mac has no equivalent for the Windows logo key on most PC keyboards.

Windows Media Player
The Mac comes with individual programs for playing multimedia files:

  • Quicktime Player. (Chapter 15) to play back movies and sounds.

  • iTunes. (Chapter 11) to play CDs, Internet radio, MP3 files and other audio files. (As a bonus, unlike Windows XP, iTunes can even create MP3 files.)

  • DVD Player. (Chapter 11) for playing DVDs. If your Mac does, in fact, have a DVD player built in, this program is in the Applicatiosn folder.

Windows Media Player is, however, available in a Macintosh version, paradoxical though that may sound. You can download it from www.microsoft.com/mac.

Windows Messenger
Mac OS X's voice- and videoconferencing software is called iChat AV, and it's described in Chapter 21.

The TextEdit program (in the Applications folder) is a word processor along the lines of WordPad. It can even open and save Word files, as WordPad can.

Zip files
Zip files exist on the Mac, too, and you create them almost the same way: Control-click (or right-click) a file or folder and choose Create Archive from the contextual menu. See Section 5.10.2 for a discussion of software compression standards on the Mac.


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